The Heat's Hottest Thanksgiving Recipes

The past month, anyone who has read a magazine, watched a cooking show, perused a food blog or picked up the newspaper has been littered with recipe ideas for their Thanksgiving meal. To say it is overwhelming is an enormous understatement, leaving most people to stick to what they know and prepare the same old same old. It's just EASIER. Until now.
I took the time to comb through some of the more popular media sources and then narrowed down my favorites of the year. Click on an item to see the link and full recipe to each. Try them all or try just one - but have fun with Thanksgiving this year by introducing something new.

Appetizers: I like to keep most appetizers light and low maintenance, allowing me to focus on the main act. The pecans and olives can be made ahead of time. The manchego looks fancy with a quick sauce. My one 'wow' appetizer is the oysters which are served with cucumber and pickled shallot relish - bright and tangy.
  Rosemary Pecans 
  Marinated Olives with Rosemary, Red Chili, Orange and Paprika
  Manchego with Honey Brown Butter Sauce
  Oysters Danish Style

The Main Act: The past few years my family has brined our turkey, which we feel adds a depth of flavor and more importantly, moist meat, as the salt draws in and retains water. I like Emeril's citrusy brine, followed by Giada's simple preparation.
  Giada's Turkey with Herbes de Provence and Citrus
  The Brine
Salads: Say goodbye to boring lettuce on this special day.
  Apple, Radish and Celery Salad
  Brussels Sprouts with Pecans and Cranberries
Condiments: Our family has outgrown canned cranberry, while herbed butter adds a little something extra. Two easy updates.
  Cranberry-Orange Sauce
  Herb butter (make extra for both the turkey and popovers)
Sides: I am sick of boring spuds. I like my mashed skins on with a hint of garlic and sweet potatoes get a touch of heat from chipotle, cooled off with a squirt of lime. Creamed onions get the boot and a health upgrade alla balsamic glaze. And finally, lets have some adult legumes. We don't need cream or casseroles to get them down the hatch - lighten up with minted peas or brown butter sugar snap peas decorated with pecans (I'll be throwing whatever is leftover from the rosemary pecan appetizer on top - so easy!)
  Chipotle Glazed Sweet Potatoes
  Garlic Red Bliss Mashed Potatoes
  Balsamic Glazed Pearl Onions
  Green Peas with Mint
  Brown Butter Sugar Snap Peas with Pecans
Stuffing/Dressing: I recently learned that stuffing is when it's IN the bird. Dressing cooked outside. Who knew?
  Sage, Sausage and Apple Dressing
  Toasted Chestnut Stuffing
Bread bowl: I know Pilsbury wants us to think that it's not Thanksgiving without crescent rolls, but I beg to differ -
  Parmesean popovers served with leftover herbed butter from turkey preparation
Desserts: I tend to save dessert for the following morning. Pumpkin pie and a cup of coffee? Yes please. So a mug of mulled hot apple cider is the perfect prelude to my tryptophan induced nap.
  Pumpkin Pie with Graham Cracker Crust
  Gingery Apple Crumb Pie
  Hot Mulled Apple Cider

Happy Thanksgiving!

- The Heat


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